But because of the good reviews from users at Giveaway of the Day and the fact that my Windows 7 system seems to be gradually slowing down, I thought I'd take a deep breath, cross my fingers, and give it a try. Hey, I have backups, so if I screw something up I'm covered. Right? Right??
Anyway, I installed this program and started tinkering with things. I was amazed. The GUI, which looks terribly busy when you open the program, is actually easy to use. (That's "Graphic User Interface", or what you see when you start the program.) After installation you're taken to AnVir Software's site where you can watch a video on how to use the program though I wish they had more in-depth videos on some things. Normally it pisses me off to be taken to the developer's site upon installation because I've already been there or I wouldn't have chosen the program, but in this case I was pleased. The video was helpful.
Because it's so easy to use and so comprehensive, I decided to review the software. What does AnVir Task Manager do? Here's the developer's description, with my comments in red:
Monitor your system and replace Windows Task Manager:
- Information about processes, startup programs, services, internet connections, drivers
- Integrated database with Descriptions for 70 000+ startup programs, Internet Explorer toolbars and services
I was also able to stop some things from running at startup. I found a couple of updaters for software I (supposedly) uninstalled weeks ago. I found some stuff I don't use. Stopping them from running was a right-click, left-click. Simple!
- Icons in the tray that indicate CPU, disk, network, memory and battery
Get rid of viruses, Trojans and spyware that your antivirus missed:
- Security risk rating for each active process and startup program
- Get notification when any program tries to add itself to startup
- Right click on any suspicious process or file and check it on virustotal.com with 30+ antiviruses
Enhance and tune up XP, Vista or Windows 7:
- Tweaker that gives access to hundreds of XP / Vista settings
- Click on the title of any application to minimize window to system tray
- List of recently used folders in Open / Save dialogs
- Drive’s free space as a colored horizontal bar in Windows ‘My Computer’
- Last launched and favorites programs and folders in tray menu
Speed up your PC and Windows startup:
- “Delayed Startup” lets you set up any startup program to run few minutes later after Windows startup
- Run startup programs minimized to system tray, or as a floating icon
- Balance CPU usage
Would I get the free version or pay $29.95 for the basic version? No. You can't save changes to the process run priorities, and you can't permanently block undesired processes. This was a "WTF?" for me. If those settings aren't saved, what's the point of including them? Plus, they don't do other things too. Here's a comparison of what you get with each version.
Would I pay $49.95 for the Pro version? I might. I'd have to think about it, especially since there are free programs out there that do a lot of this, plus I could just learn to use my Windows Task Manager. But because I got it for free from Giveaway of the Day, it's a keeper.